Suffolk forced into team alterations for must win NCCA Trophy clash at Cheshire
The equation is simple – Suffolk simply must win at Cheshire on Sunday if they are to progress in this season’s NCCA Trophy competition.
Suffolk enter their final Group 3 game in third spot – behind both group winners Cambridgeshire and second-placed Cheshire, who they face in the 50-overs-a-side contest at Didsbury CC, start 11am.
Only a victory and the two points that go with it will see Suffolk leapfrog Cheshire into second place and earn an away tie in the quarter-finals.
However, it will be a much-changed side that will take to the field with five of the team that lost by two wickets on Sunday to Cambridgeshire at Sudbury CC unavailable.
Opener Nick Browne is required by parent county Essex, who return to County Championship action, wicket-keeper Jacob Marston is injured, while Tristan Blackledge, Dominic Manthorpe and Alex Quin are all unavailable.
Darren Ironside is still injured, while Josh Rymell (Essex) and Freddie Heldreich (Northamptonshire) are required by their counties and Matt Wareing (Sudbury) and Bury St Edmunds’ Alastair Allchin, who has yet to make his debut, are both unavailable.
However, Darren Batch returns after injury and there are recalls for his Sudbury team-mate Paddy Sadler, whose sole appearance so far came in the final fixture of the 2019 season, and Alex Oxley of Copdock & Old Ipswichians – plus a debut for Josh Frame.
Adam Mansfield, who has taken on coaching duties with Suffolk’s white-ball sides this season, will deputise behind the stumps.
Head coach Andy Northcote, who is included in the squad as cover, said: “We have literally tried a full side of players who are unavailable.
“It is the first time we have had to try so many players in my time. We are still in discussions with a professional, so the squad may still change.
“The changes we have made this week are not out of want but necessity. It still leaves us with a very strong side, maybe not as well balanced, but still strong nonetheless.
“It’s great to see Adam back with the gloves, though sadly through Jacob being injured. Josh Frame, who plays his club cricket for Frinton, is having a fantastic summer and great that he is rewarded.
“He is another Suffolk YC player to step up and make his debut for our NCCA Men’s XI.”
Reflecting on last Sunday’s loss to Cambridgeshire, where some poor shot selection cost Suffolk dear, Northcote said: “Positivity comes in many forms and I think the batters got a little stung this past week, takings skipper Tom Rash’s message to heart and not instilling it correctly.
“Being positive can be commanding your crease, can be rotating strike and can just be getting that ‘chest’ out and being in charge of the crease. Positivity is not all about fours and sixes. Hopefully the batting unit will put that right this week.”
Suffolk analyst Olly Williams will play a key role in providing information about opponents who play in the Western Division of the NCCA Championship.
“He will share everything from ground size, wicket, weather prediction, batting and bowling percentages, etc. We know that they will be very competitive and similar to us in many ways which will make for a cracking day,” added Northcote.
Suffolk squad: Jack Beaumont, Ben Claydon, Darren Batch, Josh Cantrell, Ben Parker, Alex Oxley, Matt Allen, Josh Frame, Tom Rash, Paddy Sadler, Adam Mansfield, Andy Northcote.